Last week’s look at freestanding tubs on Interior Obsessions with FormFire Glassworks left room for lots of choices, from traditional to modern and every permutation in between. This week is no different. The fireplace used to be the central part of the home, a gathering area for both cooking and warmth. The onset of HVAC systems for heating and ovens, cooktops and microwaves for food preparation has pushed the fireplace to the exterior walls of the modern home. Often only found as part of a formal living area, the fireplace has lost much of its original usefulness, although not its appeal.
Modern fireplaces run the gamut of styles, from full masonry woodburners to standardized metal fireboxes, from built-in to freestanding units. This allows a broad range of styling options, as well as a choice between letting the fireplace be part of the background, or featuring it and letting it play a large part in the interior decor. Many homeowners opt for a very basic look – white plaster or brick with or without a mantle. A more traditional look can be acheived either through the use of plaster or wood mouldings, or by the popular option of purchasing used stone mantlepieces. Color can be used to draw attention to the fireplace area, either through painted walls or the inclusion of enameled metal pieces. Minimal options have made quite an impact, from long horizontal fireboxes, often fitted with a row of gas jets, to glass-enclosed sculptural work. Although the fire is no longer the physical center of the home, it always seems to impart a sense of warmth and life to our modern living spaces.